a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
The story forms part of the Xeelee-sequence of stories and novels. In far distant future, the Xeelee decide to lock away the human race in a world hidden in hyperspace (as the pale, atavistic remnants of humans discover and remark, "We were a weak and foolish race. We attacked the Xeelee, unable to bear their superiority. We were defeated. But we would have kept on attacking them until we were destroyed. And so the Xeelee locked us away like destructive children...for our own good. We didn't build this world to save us from Xeelee. The Xeelee built it to save us from ourselves"). The passage to this is a hypercube consisting of eight rooms. One room hanging out in space somewhere near our solar system, another hovering in mid-air on the constructed world in hyperspace and the other 6 rooms serving as attachments. There is a long description of the walk through the hypercube similar to that in Heinlein's "And He Built a Crooked House". Thence the title.
It is not clear why you need a hypercube to connect the two worlds; one would expect a simple three-dimensional tube to work just fine. Baxter does not spend any time to explain the geometrics of a hypercube, which is good in a way since it is standard material but he writes so lyrically, I would have loved to see his explanation.
First published in "Dream" #20 1989 and reprinted in Vacuum Diagrams.
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(Maintained by Alex Kasman,
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